Down by six, Navy rallies past UMBC Goal with 3 seconds left caps comeback, 11-10

February 23, 1997|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Little passing. Wild shots. And forced situations.

That's exactly how the Navy men's lacrosse team played for the first half. And it might have continued if not for Midshipmen midfielder Andy Ross, who decided to take it upon himself to end this selfish play.

Ross set up three goals in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner to Scott Meushaw with three seconds remaining, as Navy came from six goals down to defeat UMBC, 11-10, before 1,445 at UMBC Stadium yesterday. The Midshipmen have now beaten the Retrievers 10 straight times.

"We knew we weren't playing up to our potential," said Ross, who finished with two goals and three assists. "We were playing a little selfish on offense. It wasn't as bad as you'd expect [in the locker room] being down six at halftime. We knew we just had to play together in the second half."

Down 8-2 at halftime and 9-3 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter, the Navy attack started to liven up, looking for cutters over the middle and put pressure on the thin UMBC defense.

As a result, the Midshipmen (1-0) went on a 7-0 run and outscored the Retrievers 8-1 for the rest of the game. UMBC (0-1) managed just one goal in the final 25: 17.

"We shouldn't have gotten behind like that," Ross said. "When we play like a team, we can play with anyone."

Ross led the charge in the fourth, scoring three minutes into the quarter to cut the lead to 9-7. Less than 2 1/2 minutes later, Ross found J. L. Reppert inside to bring Navy within a goal.

Ross again made UMBC pay, picking up a loose ball on a failed clear on a Navy extra-man opportunity. He then delivered a pass to Meushaw, who scored a few yards off the crease to tie the game at 9 with 4: 53 left in the game.

Navy took its first lead since the opening five minutes of the game when Mike Newton powered a shot from 12 yards out to put the Midshipmen ahead, 10-9, with 2 1/2 minutes remaining.

The Retrievers fought back, tying the game at 10 with 54 seconds left on a goal by Greg Sabo. UMBC maintained possession of the ball and looked to hold it for the final shot until Michael Hicks was called for warding off.

Navy took control and called a timeout with 10 seconds left on the clock. With the clock winding down, Ross beat Jason Quenzer down the right sideline and found Meushaw on the crease for the game-winning point-blank shot.

"Our best defense is ball-control offense," UMBC coach Don Zimmerman said. "And we played too much defense in the second half. We have a lot of young guys who haven't been in that situation before. I think they played not to lose rather than to win."

In the first half, UMBC dominated Navy, scoring on extra-man situations, fast breaks and drives around the goal. The Retrievers blanked the Midshipmen in the second quarter 6-0 to take the commanding 8-2 halftime lead before fading in the second half.

"First, UMBC played very, very well and took advantage of all our mistakes in the first half," Navy coach Richie Meade said. "Secondly, I think last year had a lingering effect of getting behind in games. This game is a lot of peaks and valleys. And we fought ourselves out of a big valley."

Pub Date: 2/23/97

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